FIRST ALERT: Arctic chill set to return early February

FIRST ALERT: Arctic chill set to return early February

(WWBT/NBC NEWS) - This January thaw has been nice, and for the most part (a couple cooler snaps mixed in too) will be sticking around into the first day or two of February, but all the signs are pointing to an abrupt return to the deep freeze starting around February 5th or 6th. Once that big eastern trough in the jet stream redevelops, it could stay for quite awhile. Shades of early January? It's too soon to tell on that, but it does appear fairly certain that this warm/mild pattern will be on its last legs once January ends.

Here's a look at the upper-air model maps for February 6th from the Euro and GFS. Both show the return of eastern U.S. cold trough in upper winds.

Below are the surface temperature forecast maps for February 7th. The very cold air will be here by then.

The bottom-line... be prepared for a return to winter within a couple of weeks. Regarding snow, there remain few firm signs of anything popping in the extended range, but with this expected upcoming pattern shift, it would not be surprising to eventually see some more snow.

We'll update this blog with more over the next few days.